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Syrian Child Refugees Find Little Solace on Beirut Street

The tragedy of Syria's war is evident on the streets of Beirut, where working Syrian children struggle to survive.
Palestinian Syrian refugee children sit on a concrete block during a demonstration in front of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Beirut January 2, 2013. The demonstration, organised by the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, was held to ask the UNRWA for help in improving the refugees' living conditions.   REUTERS/Sharif Karim (LEBANON - Tags: SOCIETY IMMIGRATION POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR3C1NY

BEIRUT — The lost children of Aleppo have come to the bustling Hamra district of Beirut to peddle cigarettes for change. They wander the alleyway bars underneath the towering presence of tourists and drunken teenagers. Lebanon’s newly passed smoking ban has created an outdoor culture that facilitates their vending. It is hard not to notice them, until you notice that no one else seems to.

Amal declares that Lebanon is striking — but, of course, Syria is incomparable in its beauty. She has her hair pulled back, speaking fast and with assurance. Her green eyes immediately draw attention to her stare. It is difficult to regard her as a child, though occasionally she giggles, exposing her concealed youth. My inquiries about where she is from elicit the same response I would later become conditioned to expect: “Halab" (Aleppo).

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